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How to Disable Screen Auto-Rotation in Windows 8

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Windows 8 is strongly aimed at tablets, most of which allow use in both landscape and portrait orientations. Depending on your personal preference, you may wish to disable this auto-rotating behavior. Here’s how to do it.

Note: While testing out devices we noticed that the setting to disable screen rotation isn’t available on all devices, so we have provided a way to disable it in the registry as well.

Disable it Using the Brightness Slider

If you open up the Charms Bar’s Settings option or use the WIN + I keyboard shortcut, you can use the Brightness control to lock the screen.

It’s worth noting that we’ve seen some instances where the auto-rotate button didn’t appear here when it should.

Disable it Using the Keyboard

It couldn’t get much simpler than this – if you are using a device with a keyboard attached, you can simply use the WIN + O (the letter, not zero) to toggle Auto-Rotation on or off.  Obviously this isn’t going to work on a tablet unless you have a keyboard attached, and we’re not certain it works on all devices.

Disable it Using the GUI

Right click on your Desktop and select the Screen resolution option from the context menu.

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When the Control Panel applet loads, uncheck the Allow the screen to auto-rotate checkbox.

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Then click OK.

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Disable Using the Tablet Button (if available)

Some tablets have a button that allows you to quickly disable the auto-rotate function. You’ll need to check your manual to see if one of the buttons is meant for that function.

Disable it Using the Registry

Alternatively you could disable it using the registry. To do so, press the Win + R keyboard combination to open a run box, then type regedit and hit enter.

When the Registry Editor opens, navigate down to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\AutoRotation

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On the right hand side you will see a value called Enable, right click on it and select modify from the context menu.

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If your device currently has rotation enabled it will be set to 1. To disable it, change it to 0 then click OK.

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That’s all there is to it.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 11/27/12

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